A couple of weeks ago, Nedim (our resident PPC guru) and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns

Me: "Nedim, that last blog post about the growth of mobile usage was good."

Nedim: "Thanks!"

Me: "So, uh, when do you think you're going to write something about PPC?"

I was obviously joking around, because what Nedim truly understands is that more and more people are using mobile devices. Google, Bing, and Yahoo! need to adjust to this shift and make mobile advertising work to keep their own revenue growing. Never has this been more evident than when Google announced a few days ago a change in AdWords called enhanced campaigns.

What Are Enhanced Campaigns?

Per Google, the intent of enhanced campaigns is to give marketers improved dexterity and better measurement of their PPC campaigns. It's really a simplification of the AdWords interface. For example, advertisers currently have to create separate campaigns to target specific devices. That won't be required with this change. Another change for advertisers pertains to bid management. Because device-specific campaigns won't be required, adjusting bids based on device type, or location, or time of day will be more centralized. There will be more changes, but the general idea is that AdWords will be simplified and campaign management can be done more efficiently.

What are the Drawbacks?

The major drawback for advertisers is that they will lose the ability to not run mobile campaigns or to run mobile only campaigns. Every ad in every campaign is eligible to show up on desktops, tablets, or smartphones. While it can be argued that Google is just trying to get businesses to think about multi-device ad placement as a viable business opportunity, what they're really doing is giving advertisers less control over their PPC campaigns. That’s a little unsettling.

Another drawback is the strain this change can cause for PPC budgets. Currently, a bid for a keyword targeted to mobile devices is less costly than a bid for that same keyword on a desktop. Unfortunately, the consolidation of AdWords campaigns will actually increase the price on mobile bids. This obviously puts a strain on advertising budgets and may make it more difficult for businesses to get a profitable ROI.

Why is Google Doing This?

Google is doing a pretty good job explaining how prevalent mobile usage has become. They want advertisers to understand that mobile represents a real and significant business opportunity. And enhanced campaigns can help business do this. But the real reason is (what else?) money. eMarketer projects that Google currently owns 93.3% of the mobile search ad market (totaling $1.99 billion). It also projects that mobile ad spending will jump 55% in the coming year. That's a lot of opportunity for Google, and it's an opportunity that enhanced campaigns enables the search engine giant to take advantage of.

When are Enhanced Campaigns Rolling Out?

Google will roll out enhanced campaigns as an option over the next few weeks. However, all campaigns are expected to be upgraded by mid-2013. Stay tuned.

Are you currently running a PPC campaign? Are you advertising on mobile devices? Have you considered what enhanced campaigns means for your PPC budget? Leave a comment and let us know!